It took 'belief' to beat Austria, says Turkey manager Montella


Turkey upended Austria in a thrilling last-16 match at the European Championship on Tuesday with more than just tactics and game plan, the team's manager Vincenzo Montella said.

Merih Demiral struck in each half of a 2-1 full-throttle victory that had pundits raving that it was the tournament's best game so far.

"No one gave up," Montella said. "Everyone gave a bit extra in terms of their soul, and for a head coach, you know that there are matches such as these and you can only win matches such as these if there is a soul within the squad.

"There's that belief, that conviction. I could go on all night, but I saw all of those attributes, and that makes me very proud."

Roared on by the cacophony of their cheering fans and played in pouring rain, Turkish keeper Mert Gunok put an exclamation mark on a dramatic match with a superb stoppage-time save to set up a quarter-final clash with the Netherlands on Saturday.

The victory was a bit of revenge for Montella after Austria thrashed his side 6-1 in a friendly in March.

Turkey's victory prompted celebrations of honking car horns and waving flags across many cities in Germany.

The victory came despite Turkey missing suspended captain Hakan Calhanoglou and defender Samet Akaydin due to suspension and they will be missing Orkun Kokcu and Ismail Yuksek against the Netherlands due to the accumulation of yellow cards.

Asked whether being forced to change up his squad can be an advantage -- it might make them more difficult for the Netherlands to prepare for -- Montella laughed and said: "It's a bit of a headache rather than being fun."

Following their victory over Austria, who had finished ahead of the Netherlands and France in their group, Turkish fans may believe their side can go all the way now. Does Montella believe?

"We've got huge following. There's passion and the love is really visceral back home in Turkey, so I'm very happy to have handed Turks a bit of pride," he said.

"So this responsibility, this love and support, we constantly feel it. But you can only really embrace these dreams if you work hard right from day one. We've done that right from the outset. We'll really celebrate tonight, but as of tomorrow, we get down to work."

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